Visiting a Disney theme park is typically on the top of the list of grand vacations (with Cinderella’s Castle being the grandest and most exclusive) to take if you have kids, or just want to dive into the magic that comes with Disney World's attractions. As someone who went when they were around 17, it’s still one of my favorite trips, and there’s really nothing else like it. Sadly, one of the parks has experienced an unfortunate situation, as a Disney World employee has been arrested in connection to a child sex predator sting and allegedly committed crimes while on the job.
30-year-old Disney World employee Zachary Hudson is one of 12 people who were arrested in a child sex predator sting conducted by a group of Florida State law enforcement agencies. According to Fox News, the men were arrested for their participation in online conversations with undercover officers pretending to be underage girls. Four of the arrested individuals allegedly showed up to an undisclosed location to meet up with these made-up minors.
These investigations took place over a two-week period and were conducted by Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Auburndale Police Department, and Winter Haven Police Department. Based on the details that have been provided, this seems to have been an intricate operation. Per the news outlet, detectives posed as minors on different digital platforms in order to "investigate those who prey upon and travel to meet children for unlawful sexual activity."
Zachary Hudson, worked as a bus driver at Disney World and was arrested after having an online conversation with an officer posing as a 15-year-old girl. He allegedly sent a nude photo of himself to the person he believed to be the young girl. Reports also say that he described sexual acts that he wanted to perform.
It's also been said that the Disney World employee was on the clock when he had at least some of these conversations with the undercover officer. He was ultimately arrested while wearing his park uniform and can be seen wearing it in his mugshots. However, it’s not clear if he was actually arrested while he was actually at the park. At present, he's facing count of use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony. He's also looking at a single count of transmission of harmful material to a minor.
This isn’t first time that someone employed by the company has been arrested on sex-related character. According to The Independent, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said they “always have a Disney employee” involved when they investigate sex crime operations.
Walt Disney World has experienced a number of unfortunate or unusual situations as of late. Just recently, a snake had to be wrangled out of the park. The Most Magical Place on Earth was also fined thousands of dollars following a cast member accident and is currently facing a new lawsuit following an accident on resort property. All of this arrives as the company attempts to return to normalcy after facing COVID-related shutdowns.
As of right now, Disney World has not provided comment on the arrest of Zachary Hudson. Updates on the situation could surely arrive sooner rather than later.
Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside. While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.
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